What happens when you stop the keto diet? It is a question I wondered about during my time in ketosis. I have been on a very strict ketogenic diet for four months and recently stopped the keto diet. I was slightly panicked at what would happen when I stopped eating keto. Would I gain all of the weight back? How quickly would the carb cravings return? How hard would it be to return to my low carb- high fat diet? I searched the internet for answers to my questions. I really couldn’t find anything helpful so I wrote this post for all of you who are currently on the keto diet and wondering how your body will be effected once you are no longer eating keto.
I Planned to Stop The Keto Diet
Before I ever started the ketogenic diet, I did a lot of research. One of the books I read was called The Keto Reset Diet by Mark Sisson. In the book, he talks about the importance of taking yourself out of ketosis a few times a year. I started the keto diet on July 5th and wanted to give myself plenty of time to be in nutritional ketosis before I went off the diet. I decided I would be very strict with the diet until Thanksgiving.
For four months, I ate strictly keto and it is honestly the best thing I have ever done for my health. The point is, I knew that being on the Keto Diet forever wasn’t going to happen and I picked a time I would take myself out of ketosis. I didn’t just wake up one day and cheat on my diet, I had the day marked on my calendar.I knew ahead of time that I would be stopping the diet, at least for a short persiod of time. For me, that made the whole process easier and I knew I wasn’t going to miss out on all the yummy holiday food.
The Dreaded Weight Gain
I was scared to gain weight when I came off the keto diet. Like, so scared when the end of November hit, I thought about maybe not taking my body out of ketosis. I didn’t want to gain the weight back. I was so worried that I would gain back all of the weight. Most of the things I had read up until that point said that once you start eating carbs, you will gain back the weight, and quickly.
Well, I am happy to report that I did not gain any weight back at all when I went off the Keto Diet. I actually continued to lose weight throughout the holiday season. I ate whatever I wanted, cinnamon rolls, candy, pumpkin spice latte’s.. I ate it all. I was more careful though. I still tried to eat a lot of healthy foods and practiced intermittent fasting as well as portion control. I didn’t exercise at all during the ending of the year because I was so busy with my photography business that I just didn’t have time.
I knew how long and hard those first weeks of the Keto Diet were and I also remember how horrible I felt 35 pounds ago so while I did indulge over the holidays, I kept my eating under control.
The carb cravings came back in full force almost immediately. I had gone months without craving sugar or carbs and as soon as I started eating them again, it was all I wanted. All day, every day, I wanted bread and chocolate and Dr Pepper. Cravings are a hard thing to combat and they will 100 percent come back as soon as you stop the keto diet.
When I stopped the keto diet, my headaches came back in full force. I woke up with a headache almost every single day. Headaches are something I have suffered from most of my life. I honestly didn’t have any headaches while my body was in ketosis. While I was enjoying all that the holiday season had to offer food wise, I was suffering from headaches a lot.
As soon as I stopped the Keto Diet, my skin broke out so bad I felt like I was fourteen again. It wasn’t just my face, although my face was bad. The skin on my entire body was effected! My back and arms had pimples. I broke out in a weird dry skin rash on my hips. It has been the worst symptom by far!
I noticed while eating strictly keto, that my skin looked great. I attributed the clearer skin to all the vegetables I was eating. I also started drinking a lot more water while on the diet since my beloved Dr Pepper was way to high in carbs. What I didn’t realize was that my skin was looking better because of what I wasn’t eating. I wasn’t eating sugar and sugar my friends, reeks havoc on your body, especially your skin.
When I started eating carbs, I didn’t gain weight as I had expected. In fact, after one month of being off the keto diet, I am down three pounds. The boating still happened though, no matter what my scale says. My clothes feel tighter, my face looks rounder and when I wake up in the morning, my feet feel slightly swollen. When you start adding carbs back into your diet, just know this is a side effect that will happen. Your body will get use to your new way of eating and this side effect will be minimized after a few weeks.
I have been out of nutritional ketosis for over a month. It is the end of December and I can honestly say, I lived my best life in December, no regrets. That being said, I am ready to purge my body of all the sugar and say goodbye to my high carb, high sugar diet. I am planning on resuming the ketogenic diet to lose the last 20 pounds I have been carrying around since having my fourth baby two years ago. Today I have started a water fast to help kick start my body into ketosis. I’m not sure how many days of the water fast I will do. I did a water fast last year for four days. I really just try and listen to my body when it comes to water fasting. You can read all about the benefits to water fasting here.
Have any of you had similar experiences coming out of ketosis? Let me know how your body was effected!